REVEALED: Winner of CQ’s Best Bakery poll tempts tastebuds
ON GLOOMY drizzily days, there's nothing quite like the comforting smell of the fresh-baked bread and pies you encounter strolling towards Frenchville's Dean St Bakery.
When we asked The Morning Bulletin's readers to nominate what they regarded as the best bakery in Central Queensland, the surge of nominations for Dean St Bakery showed the business had a warm (and possibly cream filled) place in the community's heart.
In our online poll, avid local support carried Dean St Bakery to victory with 25 per cent of the vote, followed closely by Gracemere Bakery on 17 per cent and Walker's Hot Bread with 13 per cent.
Sam Hayman and his wife Cydelle took over running the Dean St Bakery, founded by Sam's parents, two years ago
A mechanical engineer by trade, it was the lure of being close to his family that prompted the career move for Mr Hayman.
His family can't get much closer these days with his wife and twin girls, 15, pitching in with the family business and even his youngest daughter, 9, helping out where she can.
He said there were 19 dedicated employees keeping the cabinets full and the register ticking over for 22.5 hour days, 362 days per year.
Remarkably, two original staff members are still employed from when his parents first opened the doors to the business in 1984.
Mr Hayman was appreciative of the support from the community to get behind the bakery and name it CQ's best.
"We're very grateful and thankful for our customer base for going out of their way to vote for us as the best in Central Queensland," Mr Hayman said.
"We try our absolute best to produce everything fresh on site and go out of our way to ensure they get what they want."
He said "nothing's ever too much drama" and they were flexible and happy to taylor their creations, even at late notice, to ensure customers got what they needed.
"It's very rare that we'll say 'no' to someone and say we can't do something," he said.
They had a strong customer demand for everything across their baked product range including sausage rolls, pies, bread and sweet treats.
"The other thing I believe we give our customers is value for money," he said.
"The sizes of our portions in our slices are quite large and some people buy one and ask us to cut it in half so they can share them."
Mr Hayman said their bakery proudly supported local food suppliers and thanks to the support of customers buying locally, he found that many small businesses like theirs were thriving during these tough economic times.
Bully reader Alex Budrodeen said he loved Dean St Bakery's pies, sausage rolls, kransky dogs, and pasties which were all served at "optimal eating temperature".
"I am making my way through every item on their treats menu, and am yet to be disappointed by the 10+ items that I've already tried," Mr Budrodeen said.
"Can't beat a bakery that consistently bakes everything to a high standard.
"Staff are very friendly and patient with my consistently lengthy orders."
TOP 10 CQ BAKERIES AS VOTED BY YOU
1. Dean St Bakery - Rockhampton
2. Gracemere Bakery - Gracemere
3. Walker's Hot Bread - Rockhampton
4. Baked on 44 - Yeppoon
5. Bell Park Bakery - Emu Park
6. Mt Morgan Hot Bread Shop - Mount Morgan
7. Artizan Gluten Free Bakery - Rockhampton
8. Cedar Park Bakery - Yeppoon
9. Bassy's Bakery - Emu Park
10. Wandal Hot Bread - Rockhampton